The short answer is it depends upon your insurance policy and the interpretation of that policy by the courts of Louisiana.
Every policy is different, and it is important that you have an experienced Louisiana insurance coverage lawyer review your policy immediately. If your business decides to make a claim, the way it documents and presents that claim to the insurance company could affect whether it is paid.
The coronavirus pandemic presents unique insurance coverage issues. Insurance agents and claims adjusters may offer you the insurance company’s position on whether your policy provides coverage for your loss. However, it is important for you to understand that courts will ultimately decide whether certain insurance policies provide coverage for COVID-19 business losses.
BOTTOM LINE: Don’t rely upon your insurance company to determine whether your COVID-19 business losses are covered. Seek out independent advice from an experienced Louisiana insurance coverage lawyer.
Louisiana Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Could Help Your Business
Business losses associated with COVID-19 might include;
- Lost business income
- Clean up and sanitation costs
- Increased expenses associated with purchasing new technology for remote working
- Supply chain disruptions
- Blocked access to plants or facilities
- Event cancellations
Louisiana businesses that carry any kind of insurance for their operations should get complete and current copies of all their insurance policies and immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced Louisiana insurance coverage lawyer.
Guesstimates are that less than half of U.S. businesses have insurance policies that cover business interruption, and even fewer have “contingent business interruption” coverage in place. Contingent business interruption coverage is supposed to compensate for losses due to supply chain interruption.
Some specialized Louisiana business insurance policies, most often found in industries like hospitality and health care, provide specific coverages for losses caused by “communicable and infectious diseases.”
Many standard Louisiana business insurance policies provide coverage for business losses arising from civil authority orders that impair or prohibit access to property.
An experienced Louisiana insurance coverage lawyer can help you review your business insurance policy to determine whether you have these or any other types of coverages that could apply to your COVID-19 loss.
Insurance Companies Are Facing COVID-19 Business Claims World-Wide
Even if your Louisiana business has an insurance policy that provides coverage for your COVID-19 losses, you should expect and prepare for a potential fight with your insurance company. With business losses worldwide from COVID-19, insurance companies are facing the prospect of having to pay thousands of unanticipated business claims at the same time.
In an effort to delay or deny these claims, many insurance companies may contend that Louisiana business insurance policies contain an alleged 2006 Insurance Service Office (ISO) exclusion for virus-related losses. Insurance companies may also point to language in many policies that allegedly requires damage to property to trigger a business interruption loss. Insurance companies will likely use these and other alleged exclusionary language to deny Louisiana COVID-19 business insurance claims.
Despite an insurance company’s position on whether a Louisiana business claim is covered, Louisiana courts will ultimately decide whether business insurance policies provide coverage for COVID-19 losses.
The Louisiana Legislature Could Act To Ensure COVID-19 Business Claims Are Paid
The Louisiana legislature could take steps in the upcoming legislative session to require insurance companies to honor Louisiana business insurance claims stemming from COVID-19.
Legislators in New Jersey have already moved to force insurers to honor COVID-19 small business claims. Given the tremendous economic blow that COVID-19 has taken on the economy, other states are expected to follow suit.
Members of Congress have recently called on insurance trade association leaders to “work with your member companies and brokers to recognize financial loss due to COVID-19 as part of policyholders’ business interruption coverage.”
The mayors of New York City and New Orleans have issued orders that specifically identify property damage caused by COVID-19 as a reason for the civil authority mandating business closures.
Regardless of the success of COVID-19 legislative insurance initiatives, similar initiatives helped motivate insurance companies to voluntarily pay Louisiana insurance claims following Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.
Call Now For A Free Louisiana Business Insurance Policy Review
The COVID-19 pandemic has left business owners with lots of questions and very few answers. To the extent that we can help answer business insurance questions for you or someone you know, please give us a call. We would like to offer you a FREE business insurance policy review.
For over 75 years our firm has represented small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, universities, banks, hotels, restaurants, municipalities, casinos, and professional sports teams. We represented hundreds of businesses in their post Hurricanes Katrina/Rita insurance claims and we helped businesses recover billions following the BP Oil Spill.